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Stress cracking and photodegradation behavior of polycarbonate. The combination of two major causes of polymer failure

  • TIMOTEO, G. A. V.
  • FECHINE, G. J. M.
  • RABELLO, M. S.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2008
Biblioteca Digital da Produção Intelectual da Universidade de São Paulo (BDPI/USP)
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This work investigates the effects of photodegradation on the environmental stress cracking resistance of polycarbonate (PC). Injection molded samples were exposed to the ultraviolet (UV) light for various times in the laboratory prior to solvent contact. The bars were then stressed with two different loads in a tensile testing machine under the presence of ethanol. During this period, the stress relaxation was monitored and, after unloading, the ultimate properties were evaluated. Complementary tests were done by size exclusion chromatography, UV-visible spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and light microscopy. The results indicated that ethanol causes significant modification in PC, with extensive surface crazing as well as reduction in mechanical properties. The previous degraded samples showed a higher level of stress relaxation and a greater loss in tensile strength in comparison with the undegraded ones. The synergist action of photodegradation and stress cracking in PC may be a consequence of the chemical changes caused by oxidation.

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